Before long, certain European regulators will get to see exactly what sort of information Google amassed when the company's Street View cars collected data sent over private WiFi networks. Google has decided to start turning over the data by the end of the week.
Interestingly, Google hasn't yet decided to share anything with authorities in Hong Kong, who made a request last month. But Maija Palmer and Lionel Barber reported late yesterday, "Eric Schmidt, chief executive, said the world's largest internet company would hand over information initially to the German, French and Spanish data protection authorities."
Furthermore, in an effort to make regulators, privacy groups, and individuals relax a little, Google is supposed to publish the results of an external audit.
And Schmidt even repeated a blunt statement first made by Sergey Brin at Google I/O, admitting, "We screwed up. Let's be very clear about that."
Now Google's execs just have to hope that European authorities are in a forgiving mood (and/or that the sensitive data the company collected really is just a nonsensical mishmash of numbers as other announcements have implied). We'll see what happens.